Dark Horse Comics 2016
Written by Van Jensen
Illustrated by Pete Woods
Lettered by Nate Piekos of Blambot
The Nine Families have ruled civilization from the shadows for time beyond memory. But now, for the first time, they are being hunted. Family leaders begrudgingly forge an alliance to discover the hunter's identity, but in so doing only place themselves in greater danger.
I’m a sucker for a good conspiracy theory story i’ll admit it. That there are Nine families that have secretly run the world for so very long is one that is fascinating to me. There are aspects to that story that Van is unleashing upon slowly but surely as we see in the events of this issue and that’s fine there has to be room for revelations and understanding. We do know that absolute power corrupts absolutely so it should come as no surprise that over the years the Nine families have formed hatred’s and rivalries with each other. That there is mistrust and anger among them as they have grown too complacent in the way their lives have been for untold centuries.
That has all changed now, the complacency and the ruling unnoticed and unfettered. There’s a hunter out there for Chronos who’s made himself known and he’s out to destroy the families as we saw last issue. Then there’s a very determined young woman who knows her father was on the right track and was silenced for what he knew. She is going to uncover whatever she can to expose those responsible and take revenge. It’s always nice when the best laid plans of mice and men start to crumble it makes for interesting reading.
I’m pretty impressed with the characterization and storytelling here. I like how we open with Pearl Harbor and young Grahame first being introduced to the world his Elder rules and makes. I like it for a number of reasons and that bond created is just one of them as is the result of what’s seen I think it changed the boy and perhaps as this story and his continues we’ll see what kind of man he’s become through all this. It wouldn’t surprise me one iota if he were to do things in much different manner than the rest of the families. I look forward to his continued spotlight and characterization he’s definitely a highlight character and one to keep an eye on.
I’m really also enjoying what Pete’s doing with the interiors here as well. There’s a different style from him that i’m digging and while it has the same sensibility and excellent use of pages, panels, angles, perspective and yes backgrounds it’s got a more highly animated look to it. I’m also very impressed with the almost nudity scenes we got there was something nice about the way that was done.
After the first issue made such a good impact on me this one has followed suit. It’s got the right amount of continued introduction as we see the Nine families and get to know them better, as well strong characterization of those already introduced and new threats and revelations that help move the story forward. Plus we have all that and then there are cryptids as well and they as we all know can be unpredictable and exciting in their own right. This is a great example of creating a world and fleshing it out before committing to paper so when Van did it started to take on a life of it’s own.
Sometimes too many ingredients can over flavour a dish but not this time they’ve all come together in just the right way.